Gagan Thapa has opted to enter the race and put his name on the line.
Thapa, a central member of the Nepali Congress, announced last week that he will run for the party’s general secretaryship, a position that he had previously held but had lost five years earlier. Thapa, aged 40, was challenged against Shashanka Koirala, then a central working committee member, and Arjun Narsingh KC, also a central working committee member, in the party’s 13th general convention in March 2016. Thapa won the election by a narrow margin. Thapa’s candidacy drew a lot of attention, not only because he was one of the party’s youngest candidates for the leadership position, but also because he was running against KC, his father-in-law, who was also running for the leadership position. Koirala was victorious.
As the party prepares for the 14th national convention, which will take place in November, Thapa is running for the same position for the second time. No other leader has declared candidacy against him as of yet, but given the factionalism inside the Nepali Congress, it is almost probable that one will do so. Thapa was running for the Krishna Prasad Sitaula camp, Koirala was running for the Ram Chandra Poudel camp, and KC was running for the Sher Bahadur Deuba (the party’s president) camp, among others.
The position of general secretary in the Nepali Congress is considered to be one of the most powerful positions in the party, second only to that of the party president, and Thapa’s candidacy, many believe, provides reason for optimism, as his election would buck the trend of the same old faces ascending to the top of the grand old party.
The choice, adds Poudel, who is running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, “is a very excellent one.” “The decision has sent a positive message to the party’s grassroots, and we have received a number of encouraging letters as a result of the decision.”
A news conference organised by the Poudel camp was held on August 30th, and Thapa was in attendance, giving the impression that he would be representing this group during the general convention. He, on the o
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